17 Merch Ideas for Your Gen Z Customers

May 27, 2022

Explore Generation Z products your customers will love.

Ready to ace your swag game? When it’s time to invest, make sure unique merch ideas top your list. Whether you are wanting merch display ideas for your online marketing or Gen Z shirts featuring DIY band merch ideas, we’ve got you covered with the best swag for Gen Z. 

Companies may think it is overwhelming searching for the best-selling merch items for  Gen Z customers, or Zoomers as this group is also referred as. However, is Zoomer swag all that different from say, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millenials? The answer is a resounding yes and also no. Let us explain.  

While many of the Gen Z products are similar to merch for older generations, it’s really the Gen Z design trends that transition them into more unique merch ideas. Think bold colors, retro 90’s and 2000’s vibes, and of course, unique band merch ideas for winning trend ideas. Just one glance at our best-selling merch items for Gen Zers and you’ll see tried and true swag faves like tees, hooded sweatshirts, keychains, drinkware, hats, and more elevated with a fresh, younger vibe.

Gen Z Best Products for Next Level Swag

1. A Cool Hoodie.  

Who can resist a great hoodie? Definitely not us, or Gen Zers for that matter. Whether you choose to customize yours with a screen-printed logo on the front, back, or down the sleeve, or choose a bold pattern or even embroidery, don’t underestimate the power of a great fit. Look for features like kangaroo pockets or a sleek modern crop for your swag for Gen Z.  

Shown: AsColour Crop Hoodie 

2. A Retro Jacket. 

What’s old is new again. Mom jeans are in. The 90’s center part is back. And, believe it or not, there are 60 ways men can get a modern mullet. With that said, it should come as no surprise that Carhartt continues to resurface. Founded in 1889, Carhartt designed the bib overall for railroad workers. Since then it’s expanded its line to jackets, hats, and more, while continuing to be a dependable workwear brand. And as for retro, it tops the list of Gen Z favorite products. 

Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters


3. A Sustainable Bag. 

Gen Z is the best when it comes to wanting to support retailers with a heart for the environment. In fact, the environment is Gen Z’s number 1 concern. Sustainability, fair wages, and labor practices are important to these tech-savvy, digital nomads. So when it comes to one-and-done items like plastic bags and single-use cups and bottles, Gen Z is not a fan. But a great reusable bag, like this Horizontal duck bag from Baggu? Well, that’s a shoo-in thanks to the design-forward options. And, as a company, Baggu’s been focused on sustainability since 2007. Today, Baggu's all vegan line is made from minimal waste designs, recycled materials and packaging, and more. 

Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters

4. A Colorful Bucket Hat

Another retro fave returns with bold colors, fresh patterns, and countless ways to add your branding. Whether you opt for screen printing, embroidery, or a leather-embossed patch… a bucket hat is one way to let loose, and have fun with your branding! Plus, as far as Gen Z favorite products go, this one tops the list and is perfect for the summer months ahead. 

Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters 

5. Ethically-Sourced Soap 

For unique merch ideas, Gen Z accessories and apparel can’t have all the fun. For Gen Z-best products, you can’t go wrong with everyday staples like soap that are a cut above the rest and made better through design. Like this cold-pressed soap watermelon sugar soap. From its blend of ethically-sourced and organic ingredients that are free of parabens and sulfates to its 3-clay combo that tones and detoxifies the skin from impurities, you don’t have to be a Gen Zer to get the appeal. 

Shown: UrthBeauty Watermelon Sugar Soap 

6. Fashion Forward Tees

Gen Z items don’t have to be over-priced or hard to find. For different Gen Z aesthetics you can also include muted, tone-on-tone styles as well as bold prints. But as merch ideas for artists can attest, Gen Z design trends lean on fun, clever, and artistic, like this cool College Tee by JJJJound. When it comes time to capitalize on Gen z shirt trends, talk to your Gemnote rep for the best-selling merch items. 

Photo courtesy of JJJJound

7. A Colorful Drinking Glass. 

Notice a theme when it comes to unique merch ideas? If you’re thinking sustainable, colorful, and/or retro, you’d be right! And these glasses check all the boxes thanks to the playful patterns. Just don’t forget to add customized coasters to your mix for branded merch display ideas that really stand out. 

Shown: Pocketo Drinking Glass in Aquatic

8. Retro Vibe Keychains

Good thing not everything is keyless entry these days. Otherwise, how could you take advantage of these hue-happy retro-vibe keychains in an endless selection of styles? When the best custom merch for Gen Z tops your list, these colorful enamel keychains are just the thing to add your logo to. 


Shown: Hotel Keychains

9. Branded Stickers

Just as unique band merch ideas top gen z shirt trends, your cheeky, out-of-the-box merch ideas should include stickers. Why? Because they are fun, inexpensive, and, an easy win when it comes to cute merch ideas. Plus, with DIY band merch ideas, you’ve got Gen Z swag that can go anywhere. That’s because stickers are cute merch ideas for adding to water bottles, laptops, books, and more. Just make sure your customization includes your logo, so you can continue making a great impression that sticks!

Shown: Clever Stickers by Big Moods 

10.  A Tumbler That Travels

Looking for merch ideas for artists? Travel tumblers offer the perfect pallet for almost every design theme. In addition to the rainbow of color options, as well as, a plethora of styles, shapes, and sizes available, customizing one to fit your customers’ taste and your brand, is a breeze! Talk to your Gemnote Rep for the best ideas for custom water bottles and travel tumblers. In addition to fitting your budget, your Gemnote Rep can also help you discover reputable brands that are just right for your customers while complementing your company’s mission. 

For instance, every Miir tumbler helps fund important giving projects. Even better, Miir's giving is transparent, so your recipient can register their Give Back Code online and to how their swag gift is giving making a difference. To date, Miir has donated to over 95 nonprofit organizations, in 26 countries, funded over 3M grants, and donated over 16K products. 

Shown: Flip Travel Mirr

11. A Minimal, Modern Backpack  

Backpacks remain a solid choice for customers and also make great merch display ideas as well. Have a swag store for your employees? A modern, customized backpack is a perfect choice. Not only are they one-size-fits-all, but they’re great for weekend getaways, commuting to work, and more. If you envision your merch being used in the office, opt for minimalistic styles like this one from AsColour, which features a padded laptop sleeve and a roomy, front zip compartment. 

Love the idea of customizing a backpack but aren’t sure which one is best for your company? Backpacks are versatile swag items that offer plenty of room and ways to get creative with customization. Whether you invest in name brand options like Nike, The North Face, or InCase, or choose a low-key minimalistic style, your Gemnote rep can help you find the perfect style. Just make sure you order extras. In addition to being a favorite among Zoomers, backpacks also make a great addition to your Employee Onboarding Kit.

Shown: Metro Contrast Backpack by AsColour

12. The Perfect Tech Accessory 

Just like peanut and jelly, eggs and bacon, swag and customization, Gen Z and tech go hand in hand. For the perfect match, out-of-the-box merch ideas like pop-sockets, MagSafe accessories, and phone wallets are a fan favorite. And for those VIP Gen Zers, you’re looking to celebrate? Why not customize a product that includes all three, like this MagSafe PopSocket Wallet which offers all their favorite features in one sleek design. Plus, the wallet can hold up to three credit cards or six business cards. 

Shown: PopWallet for MagSafe 

13. A Cool AirPod Charging Case

So you’ve got your unique band merch ideas for your Gen Z shirts, but are looking for something more tech-y to add to your swag kit. How about a sleek AirPod case to help your recipients stay connected? From talking on the phone to listening to their fave podcasts and tunes, a branded charging case makes a great swag gift. 

Looking for something a little more cost-effective? In the theme of all things retro, wired headphones are making a comeback with Gen Zers, and your Gemnote Rep can help you find the perfect pair for your customer base. 

Shown: Native Union Curve Case for AirPods


14. A Selfie Ringlight

What’s better than posing for the camera? Not having to ask someone to hold it. And that rings true for tutorials, podcasts, how-to-videos, and photos. It’s not a stretch to say that almost everyone wants to look good on social media, so having the best lighting is crucial. Ready to make your Gen Z swoon for your swag? Send them a ring light with all the features they love, like this 18" LED Ring Light with three device holders from SuperSonic. Then throw in a customized graphic tee so your brand gets exposure too.

Shown: SuperSonic Ringlight

15. Not So Ordinary Socks 

When it comes to the best custom merch for Gen Z, out-of-the-box merch ideas don’t have to be hard to find. In fact, finding the quality, everyday products that your company can customize is key for sustainability and marketing power. After all,  if your recipient isn’t using it, what’s the point? 

Whether you incorporate DIY band merch ideas or have fun with your logo, there are endless cute merch ideas when it comes to creating your sock swag!  

Shown: Pocketo Cotton Socks in Flora

16. Reusable Storage Options

For cute merch ideas for zoomers, don’t underestimate the power of great storage organizers. They are on point for every generation, but you can tailor yours to Gen Z by keeping your design colorful. For extra kudos, you can’t go wrong with retro patterns or unexpected color combos. You can even incorporate your same artwork for Gen Z shirt trends on your pouches and cases for more mix and swag style options.  

Reusable storage options like pouches and cases also make great additions to your swag kit. Whether for employees, onboarding, customers, events, and more, they are an environmentally friendly way to skip the box and be used as their own branded carry-on. While they can’t replace your packaging if you need to ship your items, you can still save money. Just look for styles like these from Baggu that is lightweight and compact for shipping. 

Shown: Pouches & Cases from Baggu

17. A Colorful & Groovy Cup

Scouring the planet for out-of-the-box merch ideas? How about a Groove Cup? While a double wall cup isn’t exactly groundbreaking, the design is definitely covet-worthy—one which Gen Z likes. After all, it’s all about the details, and this one does double duty keeping with its modern yet funky design and bold colors. Plus, it’s made of hand-blown Borosilicate glass that’s plenty tough. 

Shown: Pocketo Double Wall Groovy Cup

Generation Z stands for the second generation after Gen X. As digital nomads, these individuals were born anywhere between 1997 and 2012. To put this in perspective, Amazon Prime launched in 2005, Facebook was introduced to the public in 2006, and the first iPhone was sold in 2007. It’s no wonder most of Gen Z has had an online presence before they were 2 year old. But now, as they are entering adulthood and the workplace (with some already there), these Zoomers are paving the way for a generation of individuals who are inclusive, passionate about their work, and discerning with the companies they do business with. 

Need more ideas for Gen Z shirts, accessories, tumblers, tech, and more? This is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only can your Gemnote Rep help you find Gen Z shirt trends and other customizable products, but they can help you with all of your custom gifts and corporate swag kits for customers, employees, events, and more!

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